NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital
SW: What were your major concerns and thoughts as the COVID pandemic unfolded?
MM: The village merchants got hit hard by this pandemic, and clearly there will be a few
who will not survive sadly for all of us. However, I have been overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness shown by so many people in trying to help them weather this storm. Some were buying generous gift cards from local merchants; Jennifer Lampert at Ladles for Love organized a GoFundMe page that has raised money to help struggling merchants.
SW: How did you deal with the residents of the Village in terms of health and safety?
MM: My partner, Police Chief Christopher Satriale has been focusing on the safety issues and getting residents to take the threat of COVID-19 seriously. This has allowed me to put my energy into being there for our merchants. Without them Bronxville would not be the same place.
SW: How are you working with the merchants to blunt some of the COVID impact?
MM: We are looking at a range of creative ways to help our merchants reopen and generate revenue, from expanding sidewalk tables to suspending building rules to allow seating in the roadway. Also, our landlords have for the most part been really responsive in helping their good tenants maximize their cash flow as they recognize that this time the situation is very different. We must all realize that if a restaurant has a 50% seating capacity limit and no bar revenue, this is not sustainable. Fortunately, people are rallying to the call voluntarily and are trying to help these important partners keep their doors open.
SW: Beyond classes being curtailed and distance learning, how else are has Bronxville School been affected?
MM: Luckily, we have a small school footprint in Bronxville and we don’t have to provide a meals program during the pandemic. Although, I am deeply concerned for all the kids from other school districts who depend on their school for breakfast and lunch as the anchor in a big part of their life.
SW: What message to our readers do you want to leave them with?
MM: COVID-19 has a long tail and we must not get complacent about its health implications as well as continuing to support our merchants as they each try to find creative ways to navigate the many challenges. We are all in this together, and in supporting the merchants we are supporting the health and vitality of Bronxville and its surrounding communities
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